by Daphne Liddle

THE PHONE hacking scandal that has engulfed Britain’s ruling class has swept away the News of the World, Britain’s most senior police officer and his deputy, the chief executive of News International, rocked the transnational Murdoch media empire and compromised the position of the Prime Minister. So far!

It has also revealed the “thousands of threads” that Lenin talked about in What is to be Done linking the various wings of the bourgeois state machinery with the capitalist ruling class.

And it has demonstrated how much Murdoch’s puppets and lackeys in government, in the police and in the media hate him. Their willing servility has suddenly turned into the snarling viciousness of running dogs that turn on a cruel master as soon as he is revealed to be weak and unable to punish them further.

It has shown us how Murdoch’s place-men and women have been infiltrated at every level of government and how governments have willingly taken them on board in return for the support of the Murdoch media to secure them election victories.

And it has emerged that Murdoch is not the top of the capitalist food chain. He tried to hang on to his protégé Rebekah Brooks. Yet when Prince Walid bin Talal bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, the second biggest shareholder in News Corporation after Murdoch, recently gave an interview, on his yacht, and mentioned that Brooks should go, she was sacked by the next morning.

The shareholders of News Corp have lost a lot of money and Murdoch’s position at the head of this organisation, which owns Fox News and backs Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, is increasingly uncertain. He and his whole family are now compromised in the shareholders’ eyes.

In Britain now those who stood up to Murdoch and paid the price — like Gordon Brown at the Labour conference two years ago and Vince Cable earlier this year have, to some extent been vindicated and are crowing.

The scandal has even involved royalty as senior figures at the Palace last Wednesday reported that they had been “astonished” at Prime Minister Cameron’s decision last year to take tainted Murdoch man Andy Coulson into his government.

And it is noticeable that no senior Tory or Liberal Democrat members of the government — or backbenchers — have shown any willingness to stand by Cameron.

A further stench has been added with the sudden death of Sean Hoare — a former friend of Andy Coulson who has contradicted the claims of Coulson, Brooks and Murdoch that they did not know their underlings were engaged in tapping the phones of thousands of people — just before this gang was due to swear before various parliamentary committees that they were innocent of any wrong doing.

Police say they think the death was not suspicious and they may be right. But who now has any confidence in their opinion?

Cameron shortened his trip to Africa to rush home to defend his reputation as all involved engage in slinging as much mud at each other as they can. He might also have been motivated by the storm of criticism he has encountered — not reported in the British press — in Africa over his policy of bombing Libya.

It would be ironic if he is brought down by this scandal rather than his greater crimes of waging undeclared war on the people of Libya and massacring our NHS and other public services. But if it gets rid of him the people of Libya and Britain could benefit from the potential reversal of those policies.

Even now, Cameron is taking advantage of the storm to announce further privatisation in the NHS in the hope that no one will notice. We neglect the fight against the cuts at our peril, even though it has dropped out of the headlines.

There are many reasons why Cameron must go — and the rest of the Con-Dem Coalition along with him.